I have been very busy this last three months finishing and publishing my new book on Yama and Niyama called Living Love, The Yoga of Yama and Niyama: Timeless Teachings for Transformation and Awakening. It is now available on Amazon, Kindle, Ibooks and through bookstores and it is now time for me to get back to my blog!
I am very excited to be able to offer these teachings to everyone. If you have an interest in yogic teachings and how you might incorporate them in your life to help you with the challenges that arise on your spiritual journey, then I strongly suggest you read this book. It gives far more insight and assistance than this simple blog.
So far in this blog we have explored the practices of Yama, the behaviors to avoid in spiritual life, including doing harm, lying, stealing, excess focus on desires, and accumulating beyond our needs. Now we will focus on the next limb of Asthanga Yoga, Niyama; those practices and habits that need to be incorporated in your life to be able to awaken from conditioned mind into the experience of Self-realization.
Niyama includes Saocha exploration of cleanliness or purity of both body and mind, a kind of clarity and subtly of being; Santosha: maintaining contentment and wellbeing; Tapas: practices and attitudes that move us beyond our obsession with our own body and ego and make us aware of the love we share with all beings; Svadhyaya: the practice of Self study to gain knowledge of the true nature of our own existence; and Ishvara Pranidhana: learning to let go, surrendering to a higher nature, God, the infinite Brahma.
All of these practices of Niyama form an approach to life that creates attitudes and ways of being in the world that foster living in truth and being connected in a deep way to our selves and all of life. They develop a psychology that can sustain higher states of consciousness. Without working on our attitudes and action in the world, meditation often falls short of our expectations. We become like a leaky vessel. You pour the water of life in but the vessel can’t hold it and everything you gain dissipates.
However with these practices of Yama and Niyama we have a road map of how to develop attitudes and behaviors that allow us to heal the wounds within that make us leaky vessels. We become whole and at peace with ourselves, more able to see and contain the knowledge and grace that the Divine bestows on us each and every day.
Next topic to explore will be Saocha!